As we’ve seen, Americans totally pig out on special days, like Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday — and Valentine’s Day. The chocolate adds up fast for all 320 million of us Americans. Together we will send 190 million valentines, not even counting the 15 million love emails and texts. Along with that, we will buy (and eventually eat) 58 million pounds of chocolate, much of it packed in the 36 million heart-shaped boxes we give. Just make sure you don’t eat them too fast!
Wee ones: Caramels are usually rectangle-shaped. How many sides does a rectangle have?
Little kids: If you get 3 Valentine cards and 2 more boxes of chocolate than that, how many boxes do you get? Bonus: If your family sends out 10 cards, and 3 go to kids while 1 goes to your dog, how many cards go to grown-ups?
Big kids: If a box of 15 candies has twice as many chocolates as nut chews, how many nut chews are in there? Bonus: If you eat one of those 14 chocolates every 5 minutes starting at 2:10 pm, will you finish the whole box by 3:30 pm?
The sky’s the limit: 58 million pounds of chocolate for 320 million people isn’t THAT much. Is it a whole 1/4 pound per person?
Wee ones: 4 sides.
Little kids: 5 boxes of chocolate. Bonus: 6 cards.
Big kids: 5 nut chews. Each chew has 2 chocolates with it, so they’re in sets of 3, and there are 5 sets of 3 in 15. Bonus: Yes! After eating one at 2:10 pm, you’ll take 13 x 5 = 65 minutes to eat the rest, bringing you to 3:15 pm.
The sky’s the limit: It’s not even close. 1/4 pound per person for 320 million people would come to a whopping 80 million pounds. By the way, 1/4 pound is just 4 ounces, or two regular-sized candy bars.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.